Researchers and scientists are always looking for new methods of treatment for breast cancer. One treatment that is being tested is a laser treatment. Laser light has a specific wavelength and is focused as a narrow beam of high intensity light. The beam of laser is delivered through a thin tube called endoscopes. This light is so intense it can be used to cut steel and to shape diamonds.
For Early Diagnosed Breast Cancer
Laser treatment is being used for cancerous growths in the windpipe, esophagus, stomach and colon. It has also used in treatment for early stages of vaginal, vulvar, cervical, and penile cancer.
Researchers hope that this may be a good alternative to a lumpectomy in the early stages of breast cancer. This is still in the developmental stage but scientists are encouraged with the results of their studies on fifteen patients at an Arkansas medical center.
Surgeons inserted a fiber optic thread into the tumor and fired a laser into it. The laser heats the tumor to fifteen degrees higher than normal body temperature. This is enough to kill the cancer cells. In surgeries that followed the laser treatments, they found the tumors initially treated with lasers were destroyed.
The laser treatment, if proven to be effective, would be a great alternative to lumpectomies. The treatment would not destroy the appearance of the breast but would be effective in erasing the cancer cells. With a lumpectomy there is a scar and a defect is noticeable where the lump was removed from the breast.
With laser treatment, the surgeon does not need to make an incision so there is no scar. The results are not yet convincing enough to claim this will erase cancer tumors. The results are exciting both for surgeons and for cancer patients. Their goal is to control the cancer and prevention of cosmetic disfigurement.
More Research Needed
Although first reports are promising, it could still be a longtime before laser therapy is considered as an alternative to cancer surgery. The next step is a small study where women will only receive laser treatment for their early stage of breast cancer. These women will be compared to women who have chosen to have a lumpectomy. Scientists will be watching to find out if the laser treated patients have a lower rate of recurrence, about the same, or higher than those who chose surgery.
Once this study has been conducted, a test group will be formed around the nation to get results. Results could be revolutionary and many women could prevent permanent scarring and surgeries. The results will not be fully realized for several years but the technology is in place to continue this important development.
Research is being conducted on nanocarbon laser treatments that would specifically target each cell. By targeting an individual cell, the cancer cells can be destroyed without harming the healthy cells that surround it. With the survival rate of breast cancer at an all-time high of 86 percent, this new laser treatment could make early detection even more important to reduce the deaths because of breast cancer.